Eight foods and activities that are bad for your bones

If you have been overdoing it with the bran and milk or packet chips, or have spent an afternoon on your butt binge watching television it could be sabotaging your skeleton.

Starts at 60 has compiled a list of eight foods, activities and random bits and pieces that can be bad for your bones.

Too much salt

You should be aiming for less than 2,300mg of sodium a day, so keep an eye on how much bread, cheese, chips and cold meats you’re consuming as these have some of the highest levels of sodium. What happens with salt is that the more you eat, the less calcium your body has, and you all know calcium is needed for healthy bones.

Binge watching

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It can be pretty easy to lose track of the hours you spend watching your favourite television show, but if you have a habit of lounging about it isn’t doing your bones any favours. There should be no surprise that exercise makes your bones stronger. Weight bearing physical exercise causes new bone tissue to form and this makes your bones stronger. It can be as simple as walking, jogging or dancing, just so long as you’re on your feet and your legs are carrying your body weight.

Long bike rides 

Yes, yes, you’re exercising. Terrific! But while pedalling the pushie is great for your heart and lungs it’s not so great for your bones. Why? Simply put, riding a bike is not a weight bearing activity so it doesn’t increase your bone density. If you like to ride, maybe try mixing it up with some weights to give your bones the boost they need.


More bad news for those who smoke; not only can it damage your organs and cause cancer now it can prevent you from developing new and healthy bone tissue. Most studies also highlight you are at an increase risk of bone fractures if you smoke. The best thing you could do is quit smoking because even if it’s done later in life the mere fact you have stopped can limit the smoking-related bone loss you will experience.

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Bowls of wheat bran with milk

Thought you were safe with wheat bran? Apparently not. When you eat it with milk, your body absorbs less calcium. This doesn’t apply other foods like bread. If you like a bowl of bran in the morning and you also take a calcium tablet you might want to consider waiting two hours between eating and popping your pill.

Overdoing the caffeine

It’s not just the fizzy stuff that can harm your bones. Sure, more research is needed on the matter, but there have been several studies that have linked the caffeine and phosphorous in soft drinks, coffee and tea to bone loss, especially in women.

Your prescription medication

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Sounds like a lose-lose situation, but some medications taken over a long period of time can negatively affect your bones. This doesn’t mean you should stop taking them though, you might need to discuss with your doctor the pros and cons.

Taking a fall

One of the downsides to getting older is that trips and falls can be quite dangerous to your health, especially if you have weak bones. If your bone breaks there is the added downside that it might take a little longer to heal, which has further implications as you age. Not all falls cause broken bones; the fall, the force and direction of the fall, and the fragility of your bones are all factors for the seriousness of damage.

What are you doing to maintain healthy bones?